Types of Colleges

As you think about what career path you might follow, you can also begin thinking about college. When it’s time, you’ll need to consider them all and choose the type that’s the best fit for your personality, learning style, and situation.

Types of Colleges
Two-Year Community or Junior Colleges

Two-year community or junior colleges offers you an Associates’ degree after two years of full-time study. Four out of ten graduating high school seniors start their college careers at a community college.

Attending a community college has lots of advantages:

  • Tuition and fees at community colleges are less expensive than four-year colleges
  • Community colleges are good places to explore fields that interest you before committing to a major.
  • Since many places have community colleges nearby, you can save money by living at home.
Careers you could have with an Associates’ Degree
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technician
  • Computer Specialist
  • Court Reporter
  • Dental Assistant
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Desktop Publisher
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  • Engineering Technician
  • Flight Attendant
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Funeral Director
  • Geological and Petroleum Technician
  • Hospitality Manager
  • Massage Therapist
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  • Nursing Aide
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant
  • Paralegal
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Solar Energy Consultant
  • Sound Engineering Technician
  • Surgical Technologist
Types of Colleges
Four Year College

A four-year college usually offers a Bachelors’ degree in the arts or sciences once you’ve completed a program of study.  Universities are generally large and offer many majors. Public colleges are usually less expensive than private colleges and universities.

Private colleges are generally more expensive than public colleges, but tend to be smaller. There are different types of private colleges including women’s colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), religious colleges, and military colleges.

Careers you could have with a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Accountant
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Biological Technician
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Clinical Laboratory Technician
  • Computer Applications Software Engineer
  • Computer Systems Software Engineer
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Dietitian
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Financial Examiner
  • Forester
  • Graphic Designer
  • Health Educator
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • Journalist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Medical and Health Services Manager
  • Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst
  • Personal Financial Advisor
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Physicians Assistant
  • Software Engineer
  • Survey Researcher

Q: What if I want to be a doctor, dentist, lawyer, veterinarian, or scientist? I don’t see these on the list.

A: These are careers that take further education beyond a 4-year Bachelor’s degree. Most require an additional two or more years of 
     college. These careers are within your reach!

  • Clergy
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Financial Manager
  • Lawyer
  • Management Consultant
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Scientist
  • Surgeon
  • Teacher
  • University Professor
  • Veterinarian
Types of College
Vocational schools

Vocational schools, also known as trade or technical schools, teach skills necessary to perform a particular job.

Vocational schools offer a variety of programs that are two years or less. Typically you earn a certificate or diploma for a skill or trade once you've completed a program of study.

Careers You Could Have With Vocational School Training Certificate
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Cosmetologist
  • Culinary
  • Executive Chef
  • Catering Chef
  • Catering Manager
  • Food and Beverage Manager
  • Events Manager
  • Hairdresser
  • Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician
  • Massage Therapist
  • Mechanic
  • Truck Driver
  • Welder